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Capitol Beltway Azalea Show

The first annual Beltway Azalea Show at Behnke Nurseries at Beltsville brought together a number of groups to celebrate the area’s most popular flowering shrub. Co-sponsored by Washington Gardener Magazine, and Earth Share, a national environmental organization, Behnke Nurseries offered an amazing assortment of azaleas, just coming into their blooming season.

Highlights included a wine tasting on Friday night, featuring the wines of Maryland-vintner Boordy Vineyards. Friday and Saturday temperatures were pleasant, and people enjoyed wine under the big tent, surrounded by Behnke’s many plant offerings.

Exhibitors included the Master Gardeners of Prince George’s County; Pogo Organics selling compost tea and “tea” making equipment; Washington Gardener Magazine; Riverbend Nursery offering advice on deer-resistant perennials; Friends of the National Agriculture Library — a national treasure of horticultural information in Beltsville; the Agriculture Research Service, also in Beltsville; the Four Seasons Garden Club, and the Beltsville Garden Club. Tree seedlings, native perennials and raffle tickets were sold to raise money for Earth Share.

Remember that Sunday when we suddenly caught up from our three-inch rain deficit? That coincided with the Azalea show, and put a bit of a damper on the Sunday activities, turning handouts into papier mache and creating some interesting new (but temporary) aquatic features at the nursery. That Mother Nature; such a sense of humor.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the upcoming Capital Beltway Perennial Show, coming in June!

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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